Moving to the Netherlands comes with processes (such as getting health insurance) and deadlines that everyone is expected to know.

However, we at All About Expats understand that when adjusting here as an expat, highly skilled migrants, and international students you are bombarded with information.

Consequently, certain required tasks and deadlines can fall through the cracks.  Luckily, as related to health insurance for 2024, there is still one major deadline that you can take advantage of.

For 2024, you still have until January 31st to purchase new health insurance coverage.

Here is everything you should know as you navigate health insurance coverage and what you can expect in 2024 from your insurance providers.

Dutch Health Insurance: Major Deadlines

Fortunately, when it comes to health insurance, the Netherlands has something called “healthcare season.”  Every year, the major deadlines related to healthcare plans and information fall at around the same time.

This means you only need to learn about these deadlines once since they happen annually during the same season.

November: Monthly Premiums Released

Every year, all Dutch health insurance providers are required to disclose their premiums.

Since monthly premiums always go up in cost, this information is critical for future budgeting and financial planning. Additionally, new policies are also disclosed with the premium rates.

Annually, in November, is when all active health insurance providers roll out their expected changes in rates, coverage, and policies.

In 2023, the 2024 changes in coverage were required to be disclosed by November 12th. This officially kicks off the “healthcare season.”

Part of the benefit of requiring providers to disclose changes at the same time is that you (as an insurance shopper) can more easily compare rates and coverage policies across the board.

In 2024, you can expect new rates for 2025 and any changes in coverage to be released at around the same time in early November.

December 31st: Switching and Cancelling

Every year, people are given until the 31st of December to either switch or cancel their current insurance. It is important to note that switching and cancelling will require different processes on your end.

If you are unhappy with the pending changes for the new year from your current health provider, you should take advantage of the “healthcare season” to switch providers and not simply cancel.

During this time leading up to the 31st when you switch to a new provider versus simply cancelling, your new provider handles the cancellation of your current plan.

This means that all you need to do is sign up for the new provider you would like, and they then handle the rest.

Now, during this period you can also freely cancel your insurance without having another provider.

While you will have to handle the cancellation yourself, sometimes it is better to cancel and give yourself time to properly compare coverage options.

January 31st: New Year, New Health Insurance

At the start of each new year there is one major deadline related to your health insurance.

Annually, January 31st is the deadline for signing up for a new health insurance.

Remember, as we note within our knowledge center, everyone is legally required to have health insurance in the Netherlands. If you are uninsured, you risk being fined. We have the costs of the fines for 2024 here.

Therefore, if you cancelled your insurance or have yet to purchase insurance since recently moving, you have until the 31st. To help, we have broken down the new rates in 2024 from the most prominent insurance providers, as compared to 2023.

Health Insurance in 2024: New Premiums

When insurance providers released their new monthly rates for 2024 there was a general frustration with the significant increase in health insurance costs across the board.

For 2024, all providers have increased their monthly premiums on average by 5%.

Here is a comparison from 2023 to 2024 rates from the most prominent insurance providers in the Netherlands:

Insurance Provider2023 Monthly Premium2024 Monthly Premium
CZ 149 159
DSW 137.50 149
Menzis Zorgverzekeraar 141.25 146.75
VGZ Zorgverzekeraar 141.95 146.95
Zilveren Kruis 152.75 161.75

Changes in Coverage and Allowance

Aside from the changes across providers in the cost of monthly premiums, changes in government benefits and the type of coverage providers are offering is also something that is tweaked annually.

A major change from the Dutch government for 2024 is that they are reducing the healthcare allowance or “zorgtoeslag.”  However, the amount you will lose in allowance is based on your individual circumstance.

You can check your projected allowance on this website. You will need to have your DigiD.

Reimbursement policies from providers can also change annually so as a rule of thumb always check for these changes from your current provider if you are not switching.

Additionally, some of the main providers (VGZ, CZ, and Zilveren Kruis) have rolled out changes in coverage for 2024.

Notably, these three providers will no longer fully reimburse care or treatment from healthcare providers that do not have a contract with the insurer.

In the United States (as an example) it is common for insurances to have contracts with hospitals and healthcare providers. These are considered in-network by the insurance and most costs are covered.

When you see a specialist that is out-of-network (has no contract with your insurance provider) most of the cost will not be covered. Additionally, you will have to file with your provider for some type of reimbursement, if any.

Final Thoughts

Remember, if you do not have a health insurance provider or cancelled your insurance plan, you have until the 31st of January to sign up for a new plan.

When it comes to health insurance, its fortunate that many of the main providers in the Netherlands are also English language friendly. You can see the list of some of the main providers that have websites in English here.

At All About Expats we aim to keep you informed and help however we can as you settle into Dutch life. Follow us on LinkedIn and check out our other blogs for everything expat related.